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Bengals vs. Steelers

2015 NFL Week 8:

The Trick or Treat Edition

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”

If you’re like me (and if you’re not you should be), you believe that Halloween is the greatest holiday ever invented. Is there anything better than free candy? Perhaps some might consider doling out or getting free candy another example of the “creeping welfare state,” an entitlement that only promotes laziness, not to mention Type 2 diabetes and dental caries. But I say “pish posh” to these naysayers. And I’m mortified that I have to say ‘pish posh.’

Halloween is American as apple pie and high-flying drones. And in an era of warfare, sparked largely by conflicting monotheist beliefs, a little witchcraft and paganism can go a long way. In Western cultures, we have a great history of burning witches, from healers and shamans in medieval times to Salem and Elizabeth Montgomery. Okay, we didn’t burn Samantha Stevens, but it was well within the sick mindset of one Mrs. Gladys Kravitz. “Abner! Get the torches!”

Costumes are king at Halloween and I take a great deal of pleasure standing in the doorway awaiting the arrival of the kids dressed as princesses and fairies and insurance claims adjusters, my big bowl of candy at the ready filled to the rim with Snickers and KitKats and Reese’s and M&M’s, plain and peanut, and other “fun-size” treats.

Candy. That’s what I love best about Halloween. I often think of my five favorite candy bars and/or treats and make a mental note to update my Top 5. But it’s difficult. How can I ever dislodge Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from its lofty #1 perch?

As it stands right now as of press time, here are my Top 5:

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. KitKat*
  3. Snickers
  4. Almond Joy
  5. Caramello

I know, I know. You’re stunned.

“Caramello over M&Ms? Over Twix too?”

 “WTF, Phil, there must be something seriously wrong with you!”

But why are you surprised? I picked the Steelers over the Chiefs last week. And the only reason M&M’s dropped out of my Top 5 was because of their rumored link to ISIS.

Here’s hoping I get this week’s pick right.

*(Despite Wikipedia’s insistence, KitKat is NOT spelled Kit Kat.)


On Sunday, the Steelers’ QB will be dressed up as Ben Roethlisberger. His costume and arm motion and uncanny ability to evade the blitz will be spot on. And what good timing! In what is THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR (so far), Big Ben’s return is even more delicious than two bags of Three Musketeers.

He’ll be passing to a terrific group of receivers wearing amazing Antonio Brown Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton costumes. The undefeated Bungles may have a difficult time in their secondary if slot cornerback Leon Hall can’t suit up. Plus they’re still missing their All-Pro linebacker Vontaze, but hey… nobody’s Burfict.

The Steelers’ running game keeps getting better and better and the Bungles’ defense is currently giving up almost 5 yards per carry – a luscious scenario for Le’Veon Bell.

The Steelers are gonna put up some points!


Andy Dalton is the closest Pumpkin Head you can find in the NFL, but he’s no slouch. And he’s got some serious treats to throw to. Shutting down the likes of A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Tyler Eifert is no mean feat, and lately the Steelers’ secondary has been more generous with giving up yards than I am giving out Good ‘N Plenty to the kids in my yard.

While the Bungles don’t have a spooky scary running game, they do tote the pigskin pretty darn well. The tandem of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard is effective, and Bernard is always capable of breaking off a long run quicker than you can say, “Hey, a hoodie is NOT a costume!”

The Bungles are gonna put up some points!


Some “must” games are merely important games, but this upcoming contest is going to be exceedingly musty. If the Steelers have any chance of winning the AFC North, it has to start this Sunday. Win, and they’re back in the mix. Lose, and what lies ahead are tricks. Or Twix. And you know how I feel about Twix.

Have a great Halloween weekend!

Final Score: Steelers 31, Bungles 30.

Phil Lebovits, SCB Steeler Blogger, In a clown suit down by the river